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NC Sheriff's Department uses federal grant to buy two DJI drones

NC Sheriff’s Department uses federal grant to buy two DJI drones

A North Carolina Sheriff’s Department uses federal grant to buy two DJI drones, the DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual and the much larger DJI Matrice 600 Pro. The two drones combined and including accessories costs around $22,000.

NC Sheriff’s Department uses federal grant to buy two DJI drones

Upon buying the DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual and DJI Matrice 600 Pro for around $22,000, the department went ahead and registered the drones with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). They were given the option to name the aircraft. Inspired by the characters from the 1986 movie “Top Gun”, the Pasquotank Sheriff’s Department has given the police drones names. Starting from the left the unmanned aircraft are called; Maverick, Goose, and Viper.

One of the new drones is the DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual that features a thermal camera but can also be outfitted with a strobe light, a spotlight of a loudspeaker to communicate with people on the ground.

“The department intends to use the Mavic for search and rescue, special weapons and tactics missions, surveillance, and anything else that you can imagine using a drone for,” said County Manager Sparty Hammett.

NC Sheriff's Department uses federal grant to buy two DJI drones

The drone in the middle of the photo is the much larger DJI Matrice 600 Pro. This one is called ‘Viper’ and has six propellers and can carry payloads such as medical supplies and water, as well as larger cameras with thermal and zoom capabilities.

“The Matrice’s ability to carry payloads makes it a much larger drone than what the average person may be familiar with,” Hammett said.

The department used $12,000 federal grant money to buy accessories such as extra batteries, chargers, landing pads, iPads, high-intensity lights, a camera, and carrying cases. The total bill including the drones came out to around $22,000.

The oldest drone, a DJI Phantom 3 Professional, called ‘Goose’ is still in use to take photographs from the air and for search and rescue operations.

“The Phantom is an outdated piece of equipment by today’s standards,” Hammett said. “However, it’s a very nice unit and has served the department well. With the purchase of the Matrice and Mavic, the Phantom will primarily be a training and backup drone.”

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